Contents: 1. Introduction. 2. Importance of mushrooms. 3. History of mushroom cultivation. 4. Present status of mushroom industry in India. 5. Biology of mushroom. 6. Food value of mushroom. 7. Steps in mushroom growing. 8. Management of diseases, competitors, pests and nematodes in mushrooms. 9. Importance and scope of specialty mushrooms. 10. Cultivation technology of specialty mushroom. 11. Post harvest handling and preservation of mushroom. 12. Uses of mushrooms. Subject Index.
"In India about 72-76% of human population lives in about 6,00,000 villages and is mainly engaged in agricultural and allied activities. Recently, a lot of emphasis is being given to agro-based industries due to advantages of rural employment generation and gainful utilization of natural and farm resources. Large quantities of renewable lignocellulosic residues are generated every year as a result of extensive agriculture practices. Their direct use as food is non-existent. Mushroom, on the other hand, have the ability to transform nutritionally useless waste in highly acceptable nutritious food. They have the ability to degrade lignin along with cellulose and hemicellulose. In addition, the cultivation of mushrooms is labour intensive and provides opportunities to the landless labourers weaker section of the society in our country.
Mushroom industry in India is developing fast especially cultivation of white button mushrooms. During the last decade, the production has increased in India by 5 fold and present mushroom production is about 50,000 tons of all types of mushrooms. Out of these, about 10% are mushrooms, other than the button mushrooms. At the current rate of growth of mushroom production in the country, it is projected that mushroom production will cross 6 lakh tones by 2020. Mushroom has potential for providing adequate employment opportunity to the landless labourer, women and the educated unemployed.
Inspite of all the advantages of mushroom cultivation viz. its nutritional and medicinal value and the employment opportunities mushroom cultivation generates, it is generally realized that there is an acute shortage of literature on mushroom cultivation, based on the requirements of the growers in our country. The present book emphasizes both the biological as well as applied aspects of edible mushrooms in very simple language. It is often difficult to fulfill the aspiration and expectations of various section (researchers and growers) but continued efforts to have a judicious blending of the needs of both the section, would be our endeavour in future." (jacket)